OMA-designed Concrete events space opens in Alserkal Avenue

OMA has completed the firm’s first UAE project, Concrete- a multi-events space in Alserkal Avenue, which was inaugurated on Thursday 9 March with the opening of Atassi Foundation’s exhibition Syria: Into the Light.

The building, made up of former warehouses, was designed by OMA’s Dubai office, led by Iyad Alsaka.

The 600 square metre space features moving walls that allow the space to host multiple events simultaneously and a translucent poly carbonate front facade with fully sliding doors, positioned to create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.

The back facade boasts a customised mix of concrete with glass and mirror aggregates that has been sprayed onto the existing facade.

The glass and mirror additions reflect daylight, create a sparkling effect on the facade.

Director of Alserkal Avenue, Vilma Jukurte gave a welcome speech, commenting on the history of the space and its transformation.

“It is interesting because just three years ago, this entire space used to be an abandoned marble factory that belonged to the Alserkal family, and now it stays as the main outpost to arts and creativity for Dubai and the region,” she said.

“There was no question as to whom we should work with to re-imagine former warehouses…to become a space for imagination and limitless ideas [and] to create a building that can live multiple lives.”

In line with Concrete’s opening, OMA founder and architect Rem Koolhaas will be giving a lecture at The Yard in Alserkal Avenue on Thursday, 16 March. His talk will be titled ‘Current Preoccupations’.

Image credit: The Financial Times/ © Mohamed Somji.

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